County policyholders file 121 claims since Matthew

Published 5:22 pm Monday, October 31, 2016

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, 121 National Flood Insurance Program claims have been filed by Beaufort County policyholders, as of Monday afternoon.

“We are still trying to get claims dollar numbers,” according to Nathan Custer, a media specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Those dollar amounts may not be available until later this month or early December, according to Ross Fredenberg, a FEMA spokesman. “Unfortunately, claims-paid information generally runs 45 to 60 days after the event. Since most claims were for damage on Oct. 8, it will be a while before we have that data,” Fedenberg wrote in an email.

As of Oct. 28, FEMA received about 5,000 flood-insurance claims from North Carolina NFIP policyholders. Those claims are less than 30 percent of the nearly 17,000 total NFIP claims filed in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

“The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically,” reads the NFIP website.

In Washington, as of Aug. 31, there were 1,291 NFIP policies in effect, with $214,977,900 worth of insurance in force and $159,510 in premiums in force.

Aurora has 34 polices with $6,621,300 worth of insurance and $27,137 in premiums in force. Bath has 80 polices with $19,467,500 worth of insurance and $44,168 in premiums in force.

In Belhaven, 456 polices with $67,823,100 worth of insurance and $383,398 in premiums in force. Chocowinity has two polices with $500,000 worth of insurance and $$1,886 in premiums in force. In Pantego, 14 polices with $3,347,600 worth of insurance and $18,058 in premiums in force. Washington Park has 125 polices with $24,451,800 worth of insurance and $159,510 in premiums in force.

In the unincorporated areas of Beaufort County, there are 2,282 polices in force, with $469,517,500 worth of insurance and $1,699,709 in premiums in force.

Combined, Beaufort County and its seven municipalities have 4,284 policies in force, with $86,706,700 worth of insurance and $2,493,376 in premiums in force.

All data is as of Aug. 31, according to NFIP’s website.


Filing a flood-insurance claim

If you have experienced a flood, you can file your flood insurance claim by following these three steps.

Step one: notify your insurer to start the claims process.

After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you have the following information handy:

  • The name of your insurance company;
  • Your policy number;
  • A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times.

An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, please contact your insurance agent or company again. Find your company’s toll-free phone number.

Step two: document the damage.

Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.

Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.

Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.

Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.

Step three: complete a proof of loss to support your claim.

Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a proof of loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. You’ll need to file your proof of loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. You’ll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed proof of loss.

Source: National Flood Insurance Program


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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